In clinical practice today the population is increasing in the number of elderly patients, as is the occurrence of breast cancer in women 60 years of age and older. According to Tang et al. (2011) the occurrence of breast cancer in women 65 years old and older is greater than “400 cases per 100, 000 women” (p. 3). The appropriate treatment options for the elderly are not as standard as those for a younger generation related to the effects the aging process has on the body. Secondary conditions such as congestive heart failure (CHF), diabetes mellitus (DM), Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), and the effects of treatment on functionality are also considered when deciding treatment as well as polypharmacy with the elderly patients. According to Jones, Leak, Muss (2012) treatment options of elderly breast cancer patients requires determine if cancer is the primary illness related to the existing co-illnesses impact on breast cancer and survival rate.
The American Society of Clinical Oncology (2012) recommend not basing the decisions on the course of treatment of cancer age alone. To factor in areas such as type of cancer and metastasis as well as the patients’ opinions on the goals of treatment and quality of life. Also to factor in on the emotional, social, and financial limitations. Consistent with Tang et al., (2011) life expectancies for a 65 year old woman can be up to 20 more years and for an 80 year old woman nearly 9 years. According to Yadav et al. (2010) most treatment plans are based off of the treatment of the younger generation mainly due to the elderly receiving a less aggressive treatment strategy as well as the elderly being exploited...
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...helly, PharmD., Snyder, Julie S., M.S.N, R.N.-B.C., (2014). Pharmacology and the Nursing Process. Saint Louis, MO: Mosby
Susan G. Komen for the Cure, (2009). Radiation Therapy and Side Effects. Susan G. Koman for the Cure. Retrieved from:
Tang, S. -., Parker, H., Winterbottom, L., Hassell, K., Ellis, I. O., Morgan, D. A. L., & Cheung, K. L. (2011). Early primary breast cancer in the elderly - pattern of presentation and treatment. Surgical Oncology, 20(1), 7-12. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.suronc.2009.07.004
Yadav, B. S., Sharma, S. C., Menu, G., Mohmad, A., Patel, F. D., Nisar, K., & Sushmita, G. (2010). Pattern of care and survival in older women with breast cancer in india. Journal of Radiotherapy in Practice, 9(4), 237-245. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S1460396909990239
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